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Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category


Plant Fiber and Textile Arts


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blog3-1 Modern fiber art evolved from the textile arts practiced globally since ancient times to create practical cloth for clothing, tapestries, quilts, and rugs. New artistic applications combine fibers to produce new products, with an exclusive feel, smell, aura, and appreciation.

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Tis’ the Season for Burlap Gift Packaging


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blog4-1What started out as packaging needs for agriculture, landscaping, and manufacturing, provides so much more in the retail space. Over the past 80 years, new practices and ideas evolved as technology and shipping advanced. Companies across the globe are using biodegradable products – jute, flax, hemp, reeds, starch, and sugar to produce their packaging.

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Repurposing and Decorating with Jute Rope, Yarn and Twine


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blog2-1With a little creativity and some jute rope, yarn or twine, it is possible to change the look and feel of your home without spending a ton of cash. Wrapping old furniture and decorative items in many types of cording can embellish or transform your environment.

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Hunting for Reusable Jute and Polyethylene Livestock and Deer Corn Bags


Posted in Arts and Crafts, Burlap, Go Green, Grain and Feed Bags, Jute, Plant Fiber | No Comments »

blog1-1Even without any added chemicals, jute fibers create cloth, like burlap, that resist water damage, clean up easily, take little additional care, and are reusable. Manmade fabric can contain some natural materials, but the synthetic parts are usually derived from petrochemicals to manufacture fibers like polyethylene.

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Burlap’s Many Uses for Halloween


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blog2-1Whether its recycled burlap bags or actual bolts of burlap fabric from a craft store, this durable cloth is perfect for Halloween decorations, costumes, and bags to carry treats.

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Burlap Uses on the Farm and in Rural Communities


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Happiness and reliability can be measured in many ways including the number of uses you can get out of a common item like the burlap sack. Farm and ranch stores carry bins full of repurposed burlap sacks once used for carrying agricultural products like coffee beans and potatoes. Rural stores know that location limits the choices in the community and that quality along with multi-functional wares are what people crave. Large burlap bags can sell for a dollar each. A dozen or more bags provides plenty of material to get creative.blog2-1

Outdoor Work

Beyond filling these bags with dirt to grow more potatoes or other root vegetables, they can be used as dog mats and for sliding heavy objects around. Throwing a bag over a fence post in the garden, tying one of the ends, and letting it blow in the breeze, makes a quick and easy scarecrow. Of course, burlap sacks filled with straw and dressed in old clothes are the original and more traditional looking version and doubles as a fall decoration.

Burlap sacks can be used in lining the chicken coop to collect poultry droppings to save on cleaning time. Throwing them in the truck cab can keep the mud and other dirt off the seats and floors on particularly messy or rainy days. Use them for stocking food in cold storage or reinforcing or replacing ripped animal feed bags when you don’t have a larger container handy. Lining ditches and dry creek beds with burlap sacks, then covering with aggregate, is an easier way to drain excess rain water around the property. They biodegrade and won’t hurt animals, soil, or water.

Indoor Fun

If you have any craft-making abilities, try some rustic burlap coasters or small pillows for a sofa or chair. Use them for throw rugs, as a clothes hamper or hamper lining, or to decoupage your furniture drawers and cabinet fronts for a new look.blog2-22

Burlap bag sewing projects will save you money on a market bag or handbag, as kitchen curtains, and chair cushions. All you need are some scissors, pillow stuffing, a sewing machine, or needle and thread to put ideas together. Manufacturer logos make great designs but art is easily added with fabric markers or paint. Put some burlap on the walls and let the kids use fabric paint, sponges, and brushes to keep them busy too. Don’t hog all the fun!

Depending on how you use your burlap bags, you may want to soak them for a few hours in the tub in a whole jug of fabric softener combined with a couple inches of water to make them a little softer. Gently ring them out, put them in the dryer for a short time, then hang outside to finish drying. Loose string from the dryer is great for gift wrapping and other decoration. Burlap is a sturdy bargain that is undeniably useful on a farm and in the country.

Looking Forward to Using Burlap in the Fall


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Plant fiber products like burlap come in handy for every season and, between yard work and holiday decorations, the fall is no exception.

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The History of Jute


Posted in Arts and Crafts, Burlap, Grain and Feed Bags, Industrial Packaging, Jute, Nursery Supplies, Sandbags | No Comments »

The heart of the Jute trade is in Bangladesh and West Bengal, due to its naturally fertile soil. In the mid-1500s to early 1600s, the poor rural people of India handmade their jutjutee clothing, rope, twine, and macramé hangers. Chinese papermakers selected plants like hemp, silk, jute, and cotton for papermaking. Flax and hemp were preferred in the spinning industries in Europe and America until jute was taken to Europe by the Dutch and Fre nch and then on to Britain by the East India Company.

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Finding Recycled Jute, Burlap, or Sisal Bags for Home and Commercial Use


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Jute plant fibers are largely used to make burlap material and sisal is another common term for plant fiber based fabric. It can be bought new, but is often reused because of its natural durability. Using recycled material always makes sense, but sometimes it is difficult to locate a place to buy them. In the case of recycled jute, burlap, or sisal bags like those used for coffee, peanuts, and other agricultural products, it doesn’t have to be.

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Clothing is Made from Plants Including Jute!


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Posted in Agricultural Packaging, Arts and Crafts, Burlap, Flood Protection, Nursery Horticulture, Nursery Supplies | No Comments »

We purchase clothing all the time, often without checking to see what the material is made from. There are fabrics we find instantly identifiable while others are not as familiar. Many of our fabrics are made from plant fibers. Those fibers are blended with others for certain characteristics like durability, comfort, and the ease with which they can be dyed for color options. Some fabrics previously not chosen for clothing are being considered for blends especially since new technologies have been able to make them more workable.

Burlap is made from plant fibers like jute or hemp. Burlap is a very coarse fabric, but there have been efforts over the years to use it for making inexpensive clothing with various results. Knitting_wales_slip_stitchJute fiber is used to make Ghillie suits for military camouflage that resembles grasses or brush. While it is still considered uncomfortable on its own, jute can be blended with cotton and other fabrics to make espadrilles, soft sweaters, and cardigans.

Pure hemp has a similar feel to linen. Hemp was used extensively by the United States during World War II to make uniforms because it tends to be strong, insulating, absorbent, and durable. These are excellent qualities for garments that will see hard wear and tear. The fibers can last up to three times longer than cotton fibers. Advances in breeding and treating hemp can create much finer, softer fabrics and it is also able to blend with flax, cotton or silk.

Hemp jewelry is the product of knotting hemp twine called macramé. Hemp jewelry includes bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, and even watches. jute jewelleryWhile this isn’t clothing, it is definitely wearable as well as creative.
Consumers are far more likely to use basic burlap material for tablecloths, throw rugs or other applications like decorative tapestries, pillows, or lampshades in homes with a rustic charm.

Linen fabric is made from the flax plant. Clothing made from it is usually comfortable and designed for a generous flowing fit. Flax was first used in the Mediterranean to make string and then finer strands made comfortable tunics to wear when it was warm. It was covered up by wool when it became cold. Linen became considered an undergarment and was hard to dye so it was mainly worn in white. There are many types of clothing made with flax today including skirts, dresses, blouses, shirts, pants, and jackets.

Other natural plant fabrics that can be used for clothing include Cotton and Ramie. Cotton is still the most widely used natural fiber in the global textile industry because it is naturally soft and easy to dye, but Jute production comes in second because of its variety of uses. Ramie is silky in texture and one of the strongest natural fibers, but Hemp is the strongest. All of these plants can be spun into a thread or rope and woven, knit, matted, or bound.

Get curious and read the label next time you go shopping!